Genre: Baking

Book Review | “Sugar and Spice” by Angela Britnell #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 30 June, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how to promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Sugar and Spice” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I was excited about reading more stories by Ms Britnell:

The best way to describe my thoughts about wanting to read another story by Ms Britnell is simply to re-share my thoughts on behalf of her novella You’re the One that I Want – as I had such a wicked blast reading it as it was the first #PocketChocLit I read whilst kicking off a mini-series of novella reviews featuring the first batch of ChocLit novellas which went into print a few years ago during Christmastime!

The stories were such a balm to my worried soul back then, as it was only a handful of weeks prior to Christmas that year when my Dad had had his stroke. ChocLit stories were the stories which pulled me through that December and even into the New Year of 2017. Sometimes focusing on stories helps our spirits when life turns especially adverse to where we need an outlet to redirect our thoughts off our worries and fears. One lovely thing though – each month Dad recovered more of himself and each new month thereafter the stroke felt farther away from having happened. Being able to care for my Dad all those months and still watching over him today, is one reason I am thankful I had the chance to remain close to home.

reflecting on my forethought’s

& afterthoughts:

Being in a position to reflect upon a story ahead of reading it has become a newfound joy of mine – where I get to suspend myself in the wonderful vortex of ‘could be or might be’ whilst never really knowing until I get the proper chance to read the story if I were hitting the target on the story’s heart or failing to pick up the threads of it’s narrative core.  In respect to You’re the One that I Want, I had an initial strong motivation to read the text as I simply find myself attracted to these kinds of stories quite often!

Remember when I said this:

The premise reminds me of “Under the Tuscan Sun” but with a built-in boyfriend and potential husband. The bit that reminded me the most is the touring bus & the holiday elsewhere from home, whilst life unexpectedly takes you by a surprise and gives you a new route to entertain experiencing. Love those types of stories!

There is something about being swept away on a holiday, never thinking your going to randomly meet-up with someone who could be your equal, your partner and your match. I love the folly behind the match, too! How they are playing that ‘should they or shouldn’t they’ stay together gambit, whilst sorting through their emotions. The funny thing is that for every Rom-Com (esp in movies on television) that sets up a couple in this fashion – where they are faking a relationship, inevitably they realise their error and remain together.

And, how do I feel now after reading this lovely novella twice (once for the live tweeting & re-reading for this review) about what I expressed within this paragraph:

The best bit for me is seeing how they come to this realisation – what was the impetus of changing their minds!? How did they realise that this ‘random something’ was worth taking a risk of a chance on and turning it into a romantic forevermore? I love seeing how they put it all together – weigh the odds and somehow realise that life affords us a lot choices, but sometimes the hardest thing to influence your choice is the one thing that ‘feels right’ in the moment where your life surprises you with something you hadn’t expected to find. At least not in the timing it’s being presented. There is an allure of that beautiful reverie of romance inching itself forward into your life when your focus is on everything *except!* falling in love! Laughs. Of course, that’s *exactly!* when love walks in through the door you never realised you left open!

I must say, Ms Britnell managed to woo me into her comedic Contemporary, where humour plays a big role in alleviating some rather adverse life moments (or rather side-stepping a few!) whilst honing in on the realities of dating before marriage and after divorce. She found a way to fine tune the realities of a workaholic businessman who hadn’t quite considered himself doing anything more than what he projected himself to accomplish in the business world whilst finding a singleton from England who was a bit jaded more then he was on the whole dating situation!

My initial musings were quite bang-on to what I found inside the novella – it surprised me a bit because I hadn’t realised I had tapped into the heart of the story-line as well as I had until I was reading how it all unfolded. The best part truly though was getting the joy of meeting a #newtomeauthor and reading a small slice out of her ongoing series set in Nashville! I loved the charm of the story but also the unexpected ways in which Ms Britnell surprised you – you might think you understand all the ins/outs of what could happen between Sarah and Matt, but that’s where you get a curveball of something wickedly unexpected!

-quoted from my review of You’re the One that I Want (Pocket ChocLit)

The only thing I’m unsure about though is if Sugar and Spice is the first novel in the Nashville series or simply a one-off non-connected to the series at hand, as Lily is from Nashville. The author’s website infers its not connected and thereby, I didn’t mention a connection on this review. The novella I read during December 2016 truly was the best way to become ‘introduced’ to Ms Britnell’s style as she put a lot of her comedy inside the story but also, showed the heart of what you can find inside Sugar and Spice as well.

Ms Britnell happily commented below this review & announced ‘Sugar and Spice’ does begin the #NashvilleConnections series! Isn’t that rather grand!?

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Saturday, 30 June, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Divorce & Martial Strife, England, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Book Review | “Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the road with sisters Hannah & Caroline Melby” (of the duo) #HanaLena

Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I  was contacted by Kelsey @ Book Publicity Services in regards to a non-fiction journal account of a sister duo in country music who journalled their experiences on the road whilst touring. I received a complimentary copy of “Recipes and Road Stories” direct from the publicist via Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I love fiddles and folk music – I am a champion of bluegrass and outlaw country, and I tend to have my own mind about where I ‘fit’ inside Country music where I most likely am on the fringes rather than being on the ‘inside edge’; however, this personally suits my fancy! I love cross-over artists (Country to Pop) and I love the originality of musicians who can belt out a ballard and write the lyrics which resonate on a heart-pulse the beauty of their message.

When I first learnt about this memoir by a duo of bluegrass who were traditionally trained and who have a natural rhythm of joy surrounding them as they play, I couldn’t find a reason not to accept this book for review! I’m a foodie girl at heart, if you follow my exploits under my #TheBookishFoodie featured cookbook reviews, you’d know how seeing a fusion of home-spun stories of family life, faith-centered journalling of life experiences, and the quirky addition of recipes woven together into a memoir of a rising duo of bluegrass – truly, what isn’t to love?

Book Review | “Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the road with sisters Hannah & Caroline Melby” (of the duo) #HanaLenaRecipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the Duo HanaLena
by Hannah and Caroline Melby
Source: Direct from Publicist

Recipes and Road Stories: Life on the Road with sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby of the duo HanaLena blends touching and rollicking road stories with an assortment of tasty recipes, and then tops everything off with plenty of exciting photographs.

Also contributing recipes are friends they made on the road, including Rhonda Vincent, a 5-time Grammy nominee who has been called the "Queen of Bluegrass", and Clarie Lynch, who is the reigning Female Vocalist of the Year for the International Bluegrass Association.

On the road they have opened for stars such as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and performed with Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Louvin and the "King of Bluegrass" Jimmy Martin, who was a frequent performer at the Opry before his death in 2005.

In their off-hours, the sisters focused on the business end of music, with Hannah receiving a degree in public relations from Mississippi State University and Caroline receiving a degree in music business from Belmont University in Nashville.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Baking, Biography / Autobiography, Cookery, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Travelogue


Published by Sartoris Literary Group Inc

on 15th September, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 336

 Published By: Sartoris Literary Group, Inc.

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Interview about developing Recipes and Road Stories | The Clarion-Ledger

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

HanaLena Summer Tour via HanaLenaBand

jump in the car and ride along with the sisters! beautiful vocals overlay the footage!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse on Twitter via: #HanaLena

About Hannah and Caroline Melby

Hannah and Caroline Melby; HanaLena

By the time Hannah was in the 11th grade and Caroline was in the 7th grade, the Melby sisters were touring the country in bluegrass bands, with Hannah on fiddle and Caroline on mandolin. Today the sisters are front persons of a very popular Nashville-based country music touring band named HanaLena.

The sisters, who grew up in Starkville, Mississippi, performed from an early age - Hannah is now 28, Caroline is 24 - evolving from bluegrass to progressive country as they perfected their songwriting and performance skills out on the road. In 2008 they won the "Best New Act in Country Music" competition at the Colgate Country Showdown in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville - and took home a check for a cool $100,000 presented by country music star LeAnn Rimes.

Photo Credit: Cathy Waugh

Hannah @hannahmelbyns Caroline @carolinemelby

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Posted Friday, 2 October, 2015 by jorielov in Anthology Collection of Stories, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Publicity Services, Book Review (non-blog tour), Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Cookbook, Cookery, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Documentary on Topic or Subject, Indie Author, Memoir, Music Video, Non-Fiction, Short Stories or Essays, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, The Bookish Foodie, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Travel Writing, Travelogue, Vignettes of Real Life

Author Guest Post | “A Baker’s Guide to Life” by Judith Ryan Hendricks whilst on tour for “Baker’s Blues”.

Posted Tuesday, 4 August, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I hadn’t had the proper pleasure of finding Ms Hendricks prior to this blog tour, wherein I was most delighted I could participate by offering to host the author via a guest author feature! I am quite drawn into Foodie Fiction, especially novels that involve bakers or bakeries, as I previously devoured How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’ Neal.

Ever since that first encounter with a baker who was experiencing a lift shift whilst embarking on a journey towards centering themselves into a new awareness of how to live a life they truly could treasure and cherish, set a new standard of foodie novels I wanted to seek out and read quite readily! It’s been a bit of a hit/miss experience for me, as I’ve found a few motion pictures along the way that tickled my palette of interest even before I realised that a few of them had been based on books! (i.e. Julie & Julia) Although, The School of Essential Ingredients is one novel I cannot wait to continue reading as the poetic prose of the writer tickled my readerly heart with absolute joy!

As I set to mind what I wanted to ask Ms Hendricks, I tried to envision myself nearly at the tip-stone edge of picking up Bread Alone ahead of reading Baker’s Blues; attempting to think about what I might find curious about this third in the series whilst at the precipice of the first!

Proposed Topic: I love the introspective thread of narrative knitted inside Wyn’s character journey as she is turning inward in order to understand how all the changes in her outer world are not only affecting the people she loves but how their impacting her spirit. What was the impetus to use bread as a metaphor for the human condition and the resolve to effectively recognise as heart-wrenching as life can become there is still time left to resolve the past and present whilst keeping hope alive for the future? Baking felt to me in this one instance to be the centering balance a ballet dancer feels each time they go back to the bar. Balance is not always easy to repair when adversity collides into our ordinary hours.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis | No.3 of the Bread Alone Series: Baker’s Blues

In Wyn Morrison’s world a 5 AM phone call usually means problems at her bakeryBaker's Blues by Judith Ryan Hendricks—equipment trouble or a first shift employee calling in sick—annoying but mundane, fixable. But the news she receives on a warm July morning is anything but mundane. Or fixable.

Mac, her ex-husband, is dead.

Ineligible for widowhood, Wyn is nonetheless shaken to her core as she discovers that the fact of divorce offers no immunity from grief. Friends and family are bewildered by her spiral into sadness, Mac’s daughter Skye blames her for his death.

For the last several years Wyn has been more businesswoman than baker, leaving the actual bread making to others. Now, as she takes up her place in the bread rotation once more, she will sift through her memories, coming to terms with Mac and his demons, with Skye’s anger, and with Alex, who was once more than a friend. Soon she will re-learn the lessons of bread that she first discovered at the Queen Street Bakery in Seattle…bread rises, pain fades, the heart heals, and the future waits.

No.1 Bread Alone (Book Synopsis)

No.2 The Baker’s Apprentice (Book Synopsis)

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Posted Tuesday, 4 August, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bread Making, Cookery, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, TLC Book Tours

Book Review | “The Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar” by Diana Keuilian #gfree #vegan

Posted Wednesday, 10 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Cookery Delights | Savoury & Ambrosial | Cookbook reviews by the Bookish Foodie Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Monstruo Estudio.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Recipe Hacker” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

In this particular instance, I was meant to be a part of the original blog tour in January 2015, however, there was an issue with the print books being shipped. Therefore I had to opt-out of hosting the tour and simply tucked the title away to check-out later; either via purchase or borrowing a copy through my local library. Whereupon I had the happy surprise of receiving my own copy via Cedar Fort around mid-Spring. Due to a variety of reasons not worth broaching I have been delayed in getting my thoughts put together to where I could share how wicked awesome this cookbook truly is!

Why vegan and gluten-free baking appeals to me:

Most of my life I noticed that whilst eating the regular way most American families do on a weekly/yearly basis was just dandy for a short period of time, I grew up in a bit of a melting pot of diverse foods and cultural fusion options that most families might not have had in theirs as both sides of my family are equally proud of their foodie heritage. Yet, something was always a bit amiss for me whilst I was growing up because it was the fruit and veg portions that held far more appeal to me than the traditional options of getting protein into your system.

Even when it came to sweets, I was a bit abash to admit, I could live without a few things, including chocolate unless I felt I wanted something sweet. It’s my father who has the dedicated sweet tooth, and by default, Mum and I have come along for the ride, but even my Da admits that there has to be better options out there than the highly processed varieties of sweets inasmuch as options for baking that are not as harsh for our systems to digest. If I were to speculate, we all have a bit of gluten-sensitivity bordering somewhere between neutral to mild. Neutral here I define as being not an everyday vice to avoid but an ingredient that crops up when you least expect it too.

When I originally heard about The Recipe Hacker I truly loved the name of the cookbook because it felt like someone had taken their time to re-write the history on recipes and get back into the heart of wholesome cookery and bakery that was not limited by ingredients but rather was high on taste, flavour, and alternative methods on how to whip, dash, dollop, and spin your kitchen into a bit of wicked bliss! I look forward to sharing what I found inside the book that truly had my heart leap a bit of joy in realising that I had a wicked awesome go-to resource now in my personal foodie library!

Book Review | “The Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar” by Diana Keuilian #gfree #veganThe Recipe Hacker: Comfort foods without gluten, dairy, soy, grain, or cane sugar
by Diana Keuilian
Source: Direct from Publisher

Break the recipe code for your favourite foods!

Free of gluten, dairy, soy, grain, and cane sugar, The Recipe Hacker is a mouth-watering collection of your favourite comfort foods with a healthy twist. Learn to use easy ingredient substitutions to transform traditional dishes into real, healthy comfort food masterpieces without sacrificing any of the flavour!

Enjoy healthier, whole-food versions of

Key Lime Pie

Crispy Orange Chicken

Banana Pancakes

Beautiful photos, dozens of recipes, and delicious flavours will keep you coming back for more. Enjoy all the comfort foods you crave and keep your body (and skinny jeans) happy at the same time!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Baking, Cookery, Cooking & Baking with Natural Sweeteners, Gluten-Free Cooking & Baking


Published by Front Table Books

on 9th December, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 200

Published ByFront Table Books (@FrontTableBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheRecipeHacker, #healthyeats, #gfree, #vegan

About Diana Keuilian

Diana Keuilian is passionate about creating wholesome versions of your favorite foods. She removes the gluten, dairy, soy, grains and cane sugar from traditional comfort food recipes like cake, tacos, cookies, waffles, enchiladas and more. This hobby propelled her to start the popular blog, RealHealthyRecipes.com, where she shares hundreds of delicious recipes and mouthwatering photos. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two young children.

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Posted Wednesday, 10 June, 2015 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Content Note, Cookbook, Cookery, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Non-Fiction, The Bookish Foodie